Etikettarkiv | conditions

Does God give us GRACE and mercy upon certain conditions?

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God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble

The Bible says that God does not want anyone to perish (2 Pet. 3:9), that Jesus has given light to all men (John 1:9) and that we have no excuse for rejecting him (Rom. 1:20-21) since we are created for the precise purpose to seek him and find him (Acts 17:26-27). In this way God shows mercy to all, and Jesus also died for ALL (or else people would definitely perish, which God does not want).

Grace, favor, kindness, thanks, pleasure and benefit are some possible translations of the Greek feminine noun χάρις (charis, Strong’s 5485) used 157 times in the KJV, and we also have the Greek neuter noun χάρισμα (charisma, Strong’s 5486) meaning something like a divine favor, used 17 times in the KJV.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL MEN unto me.

Jesus Christ died for the whole world (John 3:15-17), so all are offered mercy/grace and must therefore not necessarily perish. We also know that not all people will choose to take the chance to be saved and rather prefer to live in darkness. The grace of God that brings salvation has been offered to ALL people, and the grace of God teaches us to stay away from sin here and now. We must not wait until death before we can stay faithful to God:

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to ALL MEN,12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world

Both in the Old and the New Testament the teaching is that we must forsake our old way of living and start living a holy live, in order to be given mercy.:

Isaiah 55:7 says ”Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”

So even if all people have been provided a way to God’s kingdom, God still chooses to resist the proud (those who refuse to believe, and/or those who refuse to follow him and serve him only). In this sense God gives grace only to the humble, because only the humble will benefit from the grace that God has offered to all:

Ja. 4:6 But he giveth more grace (χάρις). Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace (χάρις) unto the humble.

1 Pet. 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Matt. 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

The Bible does not teach ”once declared righteous, always righteous”. We will never be considered righteous unless we live righteous lives, and that goes for believers as well (see also Ez. 33). We are not ”free” to disobey God either in the old or the new testament:

Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, 9 Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord God. 20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

1 Pet. 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

In Romans 9 (the Calvinists’ favorite) we can read about God’s mercy, which is a translation from the Greek verb ἐλεέω (eleeō, Strong’s 1653), and the term to have compassion which is a translation from the Greek verb οἰκτίρω (oiktirō, Strong’s 3627). Naturally God can choose to have mercy and compassion to whoever he wants, like those who have repented for their sins and who continue to follow him. You can read more about Rom. 9 in this article and this.

Rom. 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.—15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

We can also fall from grace, as you can read more about here. Examples:

Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel

Gal. 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace

Hebr. 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled

Annonser

God does not only hate the SIN but also the sinner who refuses to repent

love3It is not the SIN that will be thrown into the lake of fire but the SINNER

God indeed loves the world – so much that he let his only son die for us even though we haven’t deserved it. It was not only dirt, trees, lakes and flowers that he loved (no need to die for them) but the people living on earth. God doesn’t want anyone to perish, and the Bible says that he does not have any pleasure in the death of the wicked. God wants us to repent from our wicked ways so that we can live, and there is joy in heaven for each person who decides to repent. Looking at it this way, we can’t get rid of God’s love for us. His desire is always that each one of us will repent and be saved, because it’s naturally better to end up in heaven than in hell.

However, even if God loves us it doesn’t mean that he will accept us and welcome us into his kingdom no matter what we do. God’s love is in a way conditional, even if we don’t deserve his love and our salvation by anything we do or believe. It is when we confess our sins and repent as our previous sins are being removed, and when we have moved from spiritual death to spiritual life.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Rom. 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

Rom. 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ezek. 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?—32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

God does not only hate sin, but the Bible sometimes describes God as hating the sinner who refuses to repent from his evil ways

Psalms 5:4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man

Psalms 11:5 The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

 

Lev. 20:23 And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.

Titus 1:116 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Can you detect the conditions listed in these verses?

Proverbs 8:17 I LOVE THEM THAT LOVE ME; and those that seek me early shall find me.

1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

1 Cor. 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

1 Cor. 8:3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

Ja. 2: 5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.—21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

John 16:27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

Rom. 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.—11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.—18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.19 We love him, because he first loved us.20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

Jude 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Deut. 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

Daniel 9:4 And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

Jesus sheep: I give them eternal life and they shall never perish? – John 10:28

sheepJohn 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

Much have been made of John 10:28-29, but verse 27 is not as popular and not always included when people try to make a point out of these verses. That is probably because the CONDITIONS for being a sheep are listed in. v. 27, and if you’re out to prove unconditional eternal security, then you’re out of luck. Verse 27 is the verse that identifies Jesus’ sheep, and we can read that they are the ones who listen to him and follow him. Furthermore, no MAN is able to ”pluck you out from his  hands”, and ”pluck out” would be something that someone other than yourself might do to you. You don’t ”pluck yourself” out from someone’s hands, but you can certainly leave Jesus if you really want to since he doesn’t force anyone to either come to him or remain with him.

God could force every single one of us to follow him, but he has chosen to give us free will and being responsible for our own actions. So if we are not his sheep, it’s our own fault and nothing that can be blamed on God. We can further read below in the same chapter that Jesus EXPECTS people to believe in him due to the works that he has done, but the fact is that people still refuse to. If we refuse to come to Jesus and obey him, we are not his sheep but we are actually the devil’s goats. People who are goats wouldn’t want to have anything to do with Jesus, and it’s a bad idea to seek to be a goat. So the context is:

John 10:25Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. 26But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27My sheep HEAR my voice, and I know them, and they FOLLOW me: 28And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any MAN pluck them out of my hand. 29My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no MAN is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

A few verses later Jesus says ”believe the works: that ye may know, and believe”, and yet some choose to disobey him. Most people in this world refuse to seek Jesus and believe in him, and that means they don’t qualify to be Jesus sheep. Jesus sheep are, again, those who listen to him and follow him.

John 10:37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38But if I do, though ye believe not me, BELIEVE THE WORKS: THAT YE MAY KNOW, AND BELIEVE, that the Father is in me, and I in him. 

We can’t sneak into the Kingdom of God but we must go through the door which is Jesus, and Jesus has shown that he is the true shepherd. The gate is narrow, but we can pass through if we let the Holy Spirit guide us, and Jesus says ”if any man enter in, he shall be saved”. We must come to Jesus and remain with him, and if we do and endure to the end, we are saved for eternity! In this life our task is to follow and obey the true shepherd, because the wonderful promises are tied to those who do. We should make absolutely sure to belong to the body of Christ, because the body of Christ IS going to heaven and that is certain. Here is the start of the chapter:

John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and THE SHEEP FOLLOW HIM: for they know his voice. 5And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. — 7Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9I am the door: by me IF ANY MAN ENTER IN, HE SHALL BE SAVED, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

It does say that Jesus gave his life for the sheep, and that is true because his sheep are part of the world for whom Jesus died. We can also read that Jesus gave his life for PAUL, and also Paul is part of the world for whom Jesus died.

Gal. 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved ME, and GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME.

But doesn’t it say that Jesus gives his sheep eternal life? Doesn’t eternal mean eternal? Yes, of course it does, but ”an eternal present” is still eternal even if it’s neglected or thrown away. God’s eternal kingdom is eternal whether we enter it or not, and it would be very strange if the wonderful promise to Jesus followers would only be ”temporary life”. We are not offered salvation because we have earned it, but there are still conditions for salvation. A gift is free and it’s nothing that you pay for or earn, BUT it’s still 100% free even if you have a few conditions involved. If you give someone a present that he doesn’t even accept, it’s still a free gift. It’s also a free gift if he must first go to the post office to receive it, and it’s still free even if he throws it away. If you tell your son that he is going to get a new car when he graduates from school, including free gas for as long as he live and all insurance paid, it’s also considered a free gift. But isn’t the requirement that he first graduates from school? Yes, but he doesn’t pay a dime for the car and he doesn’t earn it. Nothing says that a person who graduates from school can expect a car, and no student has the right to ask ”I’ve just graduated, so where is my car which I earned and which I expect to get?” No, someone offered this car as a gift, despite that he didn’t have to make such an offer in the first place. It’s also possible that the son takes the car and doesn’t take care of it or even neglects it. Note the conditions for getting eternal life:

John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

Hebr. 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that OBEY HIM 

What happens if a christian does not obey all this? Still saved? Read more about Jesus sheep in this article.

”I will have mercy on who I will have mercy”, but not unconditionally – Rom. 9:15

moses

Rom. 9:15 FOR HE SAITH TO MOSES, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion

This is a very famous and popular verse, and there are some (reformed) christians who translate this verse into ”God says to us all; I will elect certain individuals for salvation, and I will place no conditions whatsoever on those that I choose…”. Just because God shows mercy to individuals, groups of people and entire nations, it doesn’t mean that they will be saved, and neither does it say anywhere in Romans. 9:15 that God shows mercy unconditionally. Paul is here making a reference to Exodus 33:19 where God is speaking to Moses, so in order to get Paul’s point we should both read both the context in Romans 9 (which is about God’s right to make the offer of salvation also to the gentiles and under the conditions that he himself chooses) as well as checking the passage that Paul is referring to in order to understand his full point.

Ex 33:2 (God) And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite:Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments.For the Lord had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.—(Mose starts out)16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.17 And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

As we can see, Moses is having a huge problem with the people that he was a leader for, and that’s because they were stiff-necked and rebellious against the God who Moses was a true servant of. Man’s free will is fully displayed in this passage (and throughout the entire Bible) because naturally God doesn’t want people to be disobedient to him and to walk on their own evil ways. The only reason God is threatening to consume them, is due to their sinfulness and stubborn hearts. Moses is pleading with God to show mercy on his people and he is successful because God has indeed seen Moses’ heart and therefore decided to show him grace and listen to his requests.

As we can see, the phrase that he ”will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy” is not in reference to God unconditionally electing people to salvation, and neither can this phrase be understood that way in Romans 9. Moreover, just because God decides to show mercy on a person, it doesn’t mean this person will necessarily be saved because mercy (or kindness or grace) might not even be in relation to the person’s soul. And even if it is in relation to the person’s soul, it doesn’t say ”Once God has shown mercy on a person, this person forever remains in his mercy and is forever saved”. Just like we people can choose to be kind or not to others depending on their actions, so can God.

That people are being stiff-necked in the Bible can be seen here with many examples.

Compare with the words of David, who claims that God will be merciful to those who are merciful – which is how God has chosen to treat people:

2 Sam. 22:25 Therefore the Lord hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight.26 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright.27 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury.28 And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down.

We are told to be merciful as our Father is merciful

If the idea is that God has a certain lucky and elect elite that he has decided to show mercy on while he turns his back on all others, can we act in the same way by showing mercy (being kind) to only SOME? Not according to the Bible that says we are to be good to all. If we show mercy to others, we can be expected to get mercy ourselves, and God expects us to show mercy to others.

Luke:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Hosea 4:1 Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.

Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Matthew 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

1 Timothy 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

Ja. 2:12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

Broader context from Romans 9. Read more about Romans 9 in this article.

Rom. 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.23And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory

Mercy is often in relation to individuals who are being righteous

It makes sense that kind-hearted and obedient people are prone to receive mercy themselves.

Genesis. 19:18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:

Genesis 24:27 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abrahamwho hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren.

Genesis 39:21 But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

1 Kings 3:6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

Isaiah 14:1 For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.

Conditions that are required for getting mercy, and when God does NOT show mercyKärlek

It looks like God is keen to show mercy on people who LOVE HIM AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. We can see this requirement throughout the below verses.

Ex. 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Deut. 5:Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,10 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

Deut. 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;10 And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.11 Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the Lord thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers 

1 Kings 8:23 And he said, Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart

2 Chronicles 6:14 And said, O Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and shewest mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts

Nehemiah 1:5 And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

Isaiah 9:16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.17 Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

Isaiah 27:11 When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, and set them on fire: for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour.

Isaiah 30:18 And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.

Isaiah 47:6 I was wroth with my people, I have polluted mine inheritance, and given them into thine hand: thou didst shew them no mercy; upon the ancient hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke.

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Daniel 9:4 And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

Hosea 2:4 And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms.

Jonah 2:8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

Luke 1:50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

Luke 10:29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

Romans 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Gal. 6 15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

Jude 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Psalms and Proverbs about mercy

In Psalms and Proverbs we can see the conditions for getting mercy, and they are the same as above.

Psalm 32:10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.

Psalm 33:18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;

Psalm 37:21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.

Psalm 62:12 Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work

Psalm 86:5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

Psalm 103:11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

Psalm 103:17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

Psalm 118:4 Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy endureth for ever.

Psalm 130:7 Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.

Psalm 147:11 The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.

Psalm 145:The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

Proverbs 14:22 Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.

Proverbs 14:31 He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.

Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.

Proverbs 21:21 He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

We are not saved because we have always done the right thing, but because we are able to be cleansed in the blood of Jesus upon our repentance and faith in his holy name.

Titus. 3:For we ourselves also WERE sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost

There are conditions for getting white clothes

In the Old Testament we can read about God’s instructions for how the israelites were supposed to cleanse themselves. God didn’t use a magic wand to cleanse them but THEY had to make sure to arrange things in such a way that they could be declared rightfully purified and cleansed by God. Whoever wanted to be cleansed had to wash both himself and his clothes, and not until then could he come into the camp. This actually works as a good picture of the requirements for entering the kingdom of God, because filthy sinners are not able to enter his kingdom but only those who are cleansed from their sins and considered righteous.

Leviticus 14:And he that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean: and after that he shall come into the camp, and shall tarry abroad out of his tent seven days

Numbers 31:24 And ye shall wash your clothes on the seventh day, and ye shall be clean, and afterward ye shall come into the camp.

Numbers 8:21 21 And the Levites were purified, and they washed their clothes; and Aaron offered them as an offering before the Lord; and Aaron made an atonement for them to cleanse them.

In the book of Zacharia, we can read about Zacharia seeing Joshua, the high priest, standing before the angel of the Lord in filthy garments.  The filthy garments symbolise bad deeds, and these bad deeds/iniquities were removed from Joshua and he was clothed with new garments. Joshua was also told about the conditions involved for being able to judge the house of the Lord and to be able to keep his courts. So a certain task was offered to Joshua, but then he must make sure to walk in God’s ways and keep his commandments. This is something that WE must accomplish and something that God doesn’t do for us.

Zacharia 3:1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by.And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying,Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.

Just like the angels, Jesus in his translated/perfected form is often described as a man with shiny white clothes:

Rev. 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Matt 17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

Mark 9:And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.

Apg. 10:30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.

Matt 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

Lukas 24: 1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

Johannes 20:12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

The two angels who were in and near Jesus’ grave (some accounts focus only on one of the angels) could be the same ones as the two men/angels in Acts 1:10:

Apg 1:And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

John received a revelation from God and was told that God actually sees the works of man even if it concerns believers (and the sins are not hidden behind the blood of Jesus), and also that the church in Sardis should be watchful to strengthen the things which are about to die. Why are they about to die? Because their works are not perfect before God. They are told to repent in order to avoid the risk of dying. We are also told that there are some individuals in the church of Sardis who had not defiled their clothes, and that whosoever overcomes (that is the one who endures to the end) will be dressed in white garments and his name will not be blotted out of the book of life, but will be acknowledged by the Father and the angels. 

Rev. 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

In the same chapter we can read that God is also aware of the works in the church of the Laodiceans, and the same thing applies there that the deeds play a big role for their salvation. The church members might very well have believed in God and the offer that Jesus made for them, but this doesn’t save them if they are lukewarm och don’t show the works that God expects to find in them. The church gets the advice to buy gold from God which is tried in fire, and in that way get enough money to buy white clothes. This is something that God will not force us to do, nor will he do it for us. Had it been up to God of course he would dress up every single human being in white clothes (he doesn’t want anyone to perish), but naturally he won’t clothe unrepentant sinners with white garments because of the conditions he has for salvation.

Rev. 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

In the same book we can read about twenty-four elders in white raiment and with golden crowns on their heads, and also about a great multitude with white robes standing before the throne and the lamb. We are told what kind of crowd this is and why they are wearing white clothes. These people are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation under the rule of Antichrist, and who have washed their clothes and made them white in the blood of the lamb. We wouldn’t be able to get cleansed apart from 1) the blood of the Lamb and 2) our repentance, faith and obedience. 

Rev.4:And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

Rev. 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Rev. 6:And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

Rev. 19:Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Rev. 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

We also have the well known parable in Matthew 22, about the king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. Some people who were on the guest list and presumed to come still declined the invitation when they were requested to go. Instead others were invited. One particular person accepted the invitation and also went to the wedding banquet BUT neglected to wear wedding clothes so was kicked out. It was the guests’ own responsibility to make sure they were dressed in proper wedding clothes. So thanks to this parable we can see that 1) people were able to refuse to accept the invitation despite that they were expected to go, and 2) people were able to make the choice to accept the invitation, and they also went, BUT were still kicked out of the banquet because they were not properly dressed which was their own fault and a huge mistake, and 3) people who accepted the invitation, and who went to the banquet, AND who were properly dressed, were the ones who eventually could take part of all the blessings of the party that ALL were invited to.

Matt. 22:Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Once saved always saved = the devil’s lie

God told man:

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely DIE (Gen. 2:17)

Satan said the opposite:

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall NOT surely die (Ge. 3:4)

So God tells us that if we sin we will DIE, and Satan tells us that if we sin we will NOT DIE.  I fear that many people continue to spread the lies of  Satan even today without even realizing it. ”Once saved always saved”, is such a lie and it has deceived millions (but there are also other false doctrines which Satan is using to deceive people; like the doctrine of the sinful nature and the doctrine of the imputed righteousness of Jesus). It has been a great hindrance to holiness and it’s undermining the fear of God. The teaching goes that once a person is truly a born again believer, then he will remain saved and can never fall away no matter what he does. Proponents of OSAS might immediately protest and say:

1) But true christians wouldn’t WANT to sin any more! They are born again and have new hearts! Now they are led by the spirit. We are not teaching that people who live in sin are saved. If they live in sin, they show that they were not saved to begin with.

but the same people might ALSO say:

2) We can never stop sinning! Also true christians will sin until they die. It’s just that christians don’t sin habitually, but only OCCASIONALLY, and they don’t commit any severe sins. But they are still saved.

The dilemma is obvious. Also true born again christians might choose to sin, but will such a person automatically repent after his sin? Not necessarily. If not even King David repented until about a year after his sins (adultery and murder) in relation to Bathsheba, why would we believe WE are exempted from this peril? If we can avoid sinning for days and weeks, we can also stop sinning for months and years. Each time we sin, we could have chosen not to sin. King David was a person who cannot be filed under ”he wasn’t saved to begin with”  since he was a man of God’s own heart and a true child of God, and yet he fell away due to sin and died spiritually. The Bible is full of warnings to true believers that they might be cut off the vine tree (Jesus) and similar expressions.

We are still warned that sin causes spiritual DEATH

Ezekiel 18:20-24 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he DIE.

Rom 6:21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in DEATH!

Romans 6:16: Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin UNTO DEATH, or obedience unto righteousness.

1 Pet 2:11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your SOUL.

Romans 8: 6For to be carnally minded is DEATH; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. —13For if ye live after the flesh, YE SHALL DIE: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, YE SHALL LIVE. 

James 5:19Brethren, if any OF YOU do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from DEATH, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son WILL NOT SEE LIFE, but the wrath of God abides on him.

Mark 9:47.And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into HELL

Matt. 7:21 Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who DOES the will of my Father who is in heaven.

1 Peter 4:18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and sinner?

The word of Jesus

Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Matthew 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended…which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

Luke 8: 13They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 

John 8:31 …IF ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.—34-35 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

John 16:1These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.

Mat 11:6And blessed is he, whosoever shall NOT be offended in me.

Matt. 24:10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Matt 10:32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. —37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Matt 26:31Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad32But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. 33Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. 34Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

Mat 18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Security comes through faith and obedience to God’s grace, not disobedience

John 151I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 

1. Jesus is speaking to 11 chosen apostles. Judas had already left, and the remaining 11 were chosen and IN Christ.
2. Jesus specifically says ”you are already clean” to the apostles.
3. Jesus commands them to ABIDE in Him, because they cannot bear fruit unless they do. It’s not certain they will abide.
4. Jesus warns the chosen apostles that if they do not abide in Him, the Father will cut them off, and the branches will be gathered and cast into the fire.
5. The branches will dry up/wither, indicating that they used to have LIFE
6. Jesus says ”IF” you keep my commandments, you ”WILL” ABIDE in my love (conditional)

Other verses

1 Cor. 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in VAIN

1 Cor 3:16Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

2 Cor 13:5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Heb 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

Hebr 10: 29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

Gal. 1:6I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel

Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are FALLEN FROM GRACE

Philip. 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

1 Thes. 3:8 For now we live, IF ye stand fast in the Lord.

1 Tim. 1:5-6 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling

1 Tim. 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils

1 Tim. 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee

2 Tim. 2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and OVERTHROW THE FAITH OF SOME. There are many, many more scriptures just like these throughout the Bible, due to lack of space I will list them at the end of this study and you may look them up.

Romans 11:20-22 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

James 1:12Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

2 Peter 3:16As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 17Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

1 John 3:7Little CHILDREN, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

2 John 1:9Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

Jude 1:5I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. 6And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day

Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou REPENT. 

Rev 3: 10Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown12Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name

Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 

Rev. 3:4Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. 5He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. 

Jeremiah 15:6-7 Thou hast forsaken me, saith the LORD, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting. And I will fanthem with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy my people, since they return not from their ways.

Psa. 125:5 Those who turn to crooked ways the LORD will banish with the evildoers.

Hosea 9: 15All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.

Before their sin in Exodus many Israelites were born again (Dt 32:18, Gal 4:28-29), they were redeemed (Ex 15:13, Dt 21:8), they were sanctified (Ex 31:13, Dt 21:8), they were converted (Ps 19:7), they were in grace (Ex 33:12-17, Ps 19:7, Ps 84:11), had their names in the book of life (Ex 32:32-33, Ps 69:25-29), had the same gospel we have (Gal 3:6-14, Heb 4:2), yet when they sinned the were cut off from God and were lost (Ex 32:32-33, 1 Cor 10:1-18, Heb 4:1-7, Jude 1:5).  (Thanks to Britt Williams)

”It is astonishing how people talk about perseverance. As if the doctrine of perseverance were: ‘Once in grace, always in grace’; or , ‘Once converted, sure to go to heaven.’ This is not the idea of perseverance. The true idea is, that if a man is truly converted, he will, as a rule, continue to obey God; and, as a consequence, he will surely go to heaven. But if a person gets the idea that because he is ‘converted,’ therefore he will assuredly go to heaven, that man will almost assuredly go to hell.” //Charles G. Finney

Sealed UNTO the day of redemption, but a seal can be broken Eph. 4:30

 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed UNTO the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30)

Based on the Greek text, the latter part of the above sentence can be translated ”by whom you were sealed FOR the day of redemption”. The preposition ”for” is a translation from the Greek word εἰς (eis, Strong’s 1519) and apart from ”for” it can mean into, in, among and till. The text does not say ”sealed and saved unconditionally all the way UNTIL the day of redemption no matter the conduct”. Were sealed” in the verseis a translation from ἐσφραγίσθητε (esphragisthēte, Strong’s 4972).

There is nothing that suggests that a seal can absolutely not be tampered with. When someone places a seal on something – like the one in the picture above to the left – he doesn’t do this with the idea that no one can remove the seal, but rather to show a unique mark and/or ownership of something. The aim might very well be to see the seal untouched until there is a proper time to remove it, but there is no guarantee that it will remain as it is until that day.

The Greek word sphragizó can mean seal, or set a seal upon, or mark with a seal. We are indeed uniquely ”marked” when we as christians have the Holy Spirit in our lives, and we are separate and different from those without this mark. The word is from sphragís (a seal) – to seal (affix) with a signet ring or other instrument to stamp (a roller or seal). ”Sealing” in the ancient world served as a ”legal signature”, and it was sometimes done by the use of religious tattoos – again signifying ”belonging to”. The same word is used for the stone which was blocking the grave of Jesus – and which  was later REMOVED.

2 Cor. 122Who hath also SEALED us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

Matt. 27:66So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, SEALING the stone, and setting a watch.

Rev.  10:4And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

The book of Ephesians talks about a corporate election and about the promised future for the body of Christ. The CHURCH or the BODY OF CHRIST was predestined, before the creation of the world, to enter the Kingdom of God and inherit the promises. The question is if we as individuals choose to belong or not.

Eph. 1:22And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the CHURCH23Which is his BODY, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Eph. 4:4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;—  16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Eph. 1:13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

or:

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation – having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13, 14; 4:30).

Read the many warnings in the same chapter of Ephesians 4. The warnings are addressed to believers. The sealing of the Holy Spirit is conditional since we can ”grieve” and eventually ”insult” the Spirit of Grace which means total apostasy.

Hebr. 10 29Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Only believers can possess the Holy Spirit and no one can enter the Kingdom of God without the Spirit. He is therefore the guarantee of an inheritance for believers and not unbelievers. Through union with Christ we are ”predestined” to adoption and an inheritance as children of God, being ”joint heirs” with Christ (Eph. 1:5, 10-11, cf. Rom. 8:17; Gal. 3:29; 4:7). This is what is in view when Paul speaks of being sealed ”for the day of redemption”, but we must not assume that this sealing is unbreakable which the text does not claim.

What is a guarantee? Guarantee receipts normally have conditions which you can often read in the ”fine print”. If you get a guarantee receipt for a certain product and you would like to make a claim, the store might request that you bring both the product and the receipt before they are willing to look at your claim. They might also request that you do this within a certain time frame and that you state what’s wrong with the product. Another example might be if someone buys you a bus ticket which guarantees that you will get to a certain city PROVIDED that 1) you don’t throw away your ticket, 2) that you embark the right bus on the right time, and 3) that you STAY ON the bus until it arrives at the destination. The BUS will arrive at the destination as promised, but the question is if YOU will choose to be among the bus passengers.

1 Samuel 16:14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

Psalm 5:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me

A circumcision was also a ”seal” for those under the old covenant.

Rom. 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a SEAL of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also

This seal WAS broken and guaranteed nothing when those who were circumcised broke the covenant and were cut off from the people of God.

Rom. 2:25For circumcision verily profiteth, IF thou keep the law:but IF thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. 26Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? 27And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?

As you can see, this seal was conditioned on continued faith and obedience. The Holy Spirit marks us as God’s children of the new covenant, but if we would totally abandon the faith and/or live in disobedience with no plan to repent, then the Holy Spirit might no longer have a reason to remain and then we are no longer sealed. Also circumcised (sealed) Jews were broken off through unbelief as Rom. 11 tells us.

Acts. 5:32And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

John 14:15If ye love me, keep my commandments.16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever

Rom. 8:9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, IF so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10And IF Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

Rom. 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.

God speaks of the Israelites who ”grieved” His Holy Spirit in their rebellion. These Jews were cut off from the promise of entering God’s rest and they became God’s enemies.

Isaiah 6310But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: THEREFORE he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. — 14As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name.

In the NT the ”rest” is the eternal rest that all believers will attain. The book of Hebrews continually speak of the promise of eternal rest, in combination with WARNINGS to believers not to miss out on this promised rest through hardening their hearts in unbelief, just as the Israelites did who rebelled against God during the Exodus.

Hebr. 3:6But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end7Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 8Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. 11So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) 12Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; 15While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Hebr. 4:1Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 3For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. 5And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. 6Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: 7Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. 8For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 9There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Hebr. 6: 11And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: 12That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Jude 1:5I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not

The word ”called” below in Gal. 1:6 is the same word as in Rom. 8:30 – καλέω (kaleó Strong’s 2564). Paul marvels at the fact that some Galatians despite being called are deserting Christ and turning to another gospel. Paul noticed that these Galatians were true believers who were apostatizing from the faith. Despite being chosen, called elect they risked falling away. If kaleo refers to the elect in Rom 8:30 then it must also refer to the elect in Gal 1:6.

Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that CALLED you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

If you’re trapped in Calvinism, do read about the contradictions within TULIP here.

Church Fathers

The Shepherd of Hermes 6(72):3 I say unto him, ”Sir, now then show me concerning those that have given up their rods, what manner of man each of them is, and their abode, that when they hear this, they that believed and have received the seal and have broken it and did not keep it sound may fully understand what they are doing, and repent, receiving from thee a seal, and may glorify the Lord, that He had compassion upon them and sent thee to renew their spirits.”

Clement 7:6 For as concerning them that have not kept the seal, He saith,`Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be for a spectacle unto all flesh’. 

Clement 8:6 So then He meaneth this, Keep the flesh pure and the seal unstained, to the end that we may receive life.